Frequently Asked Questions  


  • Q: What kinds of parts do you sell?
    A: We sell almost every type of auto part, from engines to tail lights. We sell suspension parts (like struts & shocks), electrical parts (like alternators, starters, switches & relays), ignition parts (like spark plugs, distributors & coils), chassis parts (like ball joints, tie rod ends, springs), fuel & emission parts (like carburetors, fuel pumps, fuel injectors, oxygen sensors, EGR valves), little parts (like filters, wiper blades, & rear view mirror glass) and big parts (like radiators, engine blocks & complete rebuilt transmissions). We sell the types of parts you might find in your local NAPA or AutoZone--but we have more selection, more vehicle applications and lower prices. We also sell lots of things you won't find in a typical auto parts store (like sheet metal, bumpers, carpets & shop manuals).

  • Q: Where do your parts come from?
    A: We sell OE parts like you would buy at a dealership, aftermarket parts like you would buy at a local auto parts store, remanufactured parts from leading companies and specialty parts from small companies you may not have heard of (like repair manuals on CD and Ford Explorer/Ranger armrest repair kits). Everything we sell comes with a full manufacturer warranty.

  • Q: Can you send me a paper catalog?
    A: No, we do not have a paper catalog. All of our available parts are listed in our online catalog which is continually updated.

  • Q: I can't find a part I'm looking for. Where is it?
    A: Besides choosing the make, year, model and engine size of your vehicle to search for parts, the Part Catalog has several other easy to use search features.

    The search box at the top of the catalog (underneath the tabs) can help you start a focused search for a particular part or vehicle. The search box will attempt to predict the year, make, model and part you are looking for as you start typing.
    In the box at the top of the catalog

    Use the "Find Category" search box to highlight the category a particular part is in. This search box will also anticipate the parts you are looking for. For example, typing "oxygen sen" will display a list of all the items related to and including "oxygen sensor". The order of your search does not matter. All words in the listing are searched (e.g. typing "gasket" will show results for all parts in the category with "gasket" in the name). You can also use the filter to highlight all the categories with closeout parts.
    Using the "Find Category" search box

    The "Filter by Keyword" search box is an option once you have chosen a part type. For example, in the "Brake Pad" category you can search for front, rear, ceramic etc. This filter also supports Google-like operators (like "organic or CENTRIC -Wagner" to see organic pads from anyone, all pads from Centric, and nothing from Wagner).
    The "Filter by Keyword" search box

    All the parts we carry are listed in our catalog. If you are looking in the correct category and the part is not there, we do not have it. We are continually updating and adding parts to the catalog, so we encourage you to check back often if you do not initially find what you are looking for.

  • Q: What do the check boxes at the top of the catalog do?Filter check boxes
    A: These check boxes allow you to easily filter the vehicle choices in the catalog. You can filter the vehicles displayed by checking or unchecking the various boxes at the top of the catalog. By default all the boxes are checked, and all vehicles are shown. You can uncheck the boxes of the countries you do not want to display. For example if you want to display only US Market vehicles in the catalog, you would uncheck the European Union and Canadian boxes. To show only vehicles manufactured after 1994, uncheck this box.

  • Q: Which part fits my car?
    A:Find your vehicle (Make, Year, Model and Engine) and part category (e.g. "brake pad") in the catalog to see all the parts we have of that type for that vehicle. Here's an example of a part as it appears in our catalog:

    Parts listed often differ by brand (CENTRIC is the brand of this part), features (Premium Semi-Metallic pads with shims included) and/or location (the small truck icon means this part can ship with others already in the shopping cart, helping to minimize shipping costs).

    Sometimes a single vehicle uses multiple versions of a part (front brake pads and rear brake pads, for example). And sometimes different versions of a vehicle require different parts. (A particular year/make/model/engine combination may have been offered as a sedan or station wagon, in different trim levels and/or with options such as All-Wheel-Drive, air conditioning, or a towing package the original owner may or may not have chosen).

    The part description lists fitment details that should be checked prior to purchase. For example, the brake pads above fit the rear if your vehicle (a 2001 Acura Integra with a 1.8L engine) is a GS, GS-R, or LS Model. However, if you have the Type-R version of that Integra, the part would not fit. The correct part for the Type-R would be:

    Clicking the "Info" Info Button button next to the part number will display additional specifications, images and other information to help confirm this is the part you need.

    Don't worry if some attribute is not mentioned, or if one part listings mentions one attribute (like "station wagon") and a different listing mentions another (like "w/towing package"). Each part manufacturer only lists information relevant to his part. But if an attribute is listed and is not true of your vehicle (like when you see "GS, GS-R, LS" above and your Integra is none of those; it's a Type R), please choose a different part.

  • Q: What if I don't know whether my car has a feature listed in a part description?
    A: You can verify your vehicle's features by:
    • Inspecting or measuring the original part on your vehicle
    • Looking for stickers placed by the manufacturer of your vehicle in the engine compartment, on the door jamb, or inside the glove box, console or trunk
    • Using an online VIN search to decode the VIN number
    • Reviewing your owner's manual
    • Asking your mechanic or technician
    • Searching the internet for forums where someone asked the same question; or posting a question yourself (Owner Clubs & Links on our home page is a good place to start)
    • Contacting a local dealership with the VIN number (vehicle manufacturers allow their dealers access to VIN details they do not share with third-party databases)
  • Q: Why would I use the expand/collapse arrow icons?
    A: Focus on the information of greatest interest to you by using the arrow icons to expand or collapse catalog sections. For example, some parts may be further subdivided into several broad categories. Brake pads may have Economy, Daily Driver and High Performance/Heavy Duty options. Spark plugs may be available in Copper, Platinum or Iridium. You can reduce or expand the number of categories shown by clicking on the downward or right facing arrows next to the title.

  • Q: Is the part I want in stock?
    A: Everything is in stock unless marked "Non-stock."

  • Q: What is LH/LT/Left Hand vs. RH/RT/Right Hand?
    A: The side is determined as if you are sitting in the vehicle.

  • Q: What is a Return and Rebuild Service (R&R)?
    A: When cores are in short supply, it's difficult to keep remanufactured items in stock. "Return and Rebuild Service Only" means we don't have an already-rebuilt part to send you; you must send your old part to be rebuilt and then returned to you.

    When you order an R&R part, we'll collect your payment and send you instructions via email explaining where to send your old part. You'll need to pay a carrier like UPS or FedEx to ship it to the manufacturer (see table below for locations). The cost of shipping it back to you is included in your order total. Core charges do not apply to R&R parts (if a core charge was applied to your order, it will be refunded when the R&R instructions are sent). If your old part cannot be remanufactured, it will be returned to you and your payment will be refunded, except for any testing/handling fee charged by the manufacturer (see table below).

    Rebuild times vary depending on the part and company. These times do not include shipping time to and from the manufacturer:
    Manufacturer Rebuild Times Testing/Handling Fee Locations
    Alliance 1-2 business days $20 testing fee if unit tests good Dayton, OH
    Autoline 6-13 business days No testing or handling fees Minneapolis, MN
    Cardone 3-5 business days (Electronics may take 7-10 business days due to high volume) No testing or handling fees Philadelphia/Texas depending on part type
    Dorman 5-7 business days No testing or handling fees Colmar, PA
    GB Reman 1-5 business days (diesel fuel injector pumps 2-4 weeks due to high volume) No testing or handling fees Long Beach, CA
    Lares 3-5 business days No testing or handling fees Cambridge, MN

  • Q: What is a "wholesaler closeout"?
    A: Briefly, closeout parts:

    • Parts acquired in bulk at discounted prices
    • Limited availability
    • Cannot be replaced with regular inventory at the same price
    • May differ from regular inventory in design, construction, and included accessories, but differences do not affect overall fit and function
    • Have a 30 day warranty/return policy

    For more detailed information about closeout parts, see below:

    "Wholesaler closeout" parts come from several circumstances: A manufacturer may discontinue certain part numbers or drop an entire product line. A distributor may switch from one brand of products to a competing brand. A store may decide to clear out slow-selling parts to make room for more popular items.

    In circumstances like these, the seller is willing to accept a small fraction of retail value from someone willing to take all the parts at once. Wholesalers specializing in surplus inventory make these bulk purchases and then re-distribute the parts to other stores and distributors, or to overseas markets.

    RockAuto is not a wholesaler of surplus inventory, but we work with some of those companies to offer their products to our customers. These parts are a tremendous value. They're new (or remanufactured), name-brand items that fit the same as our regular inventory, but because the wholesaler paid pennies on the dollar, we can afford to sell them for much less than retail price. In the case of discontinued parts, closeout inventory allows us to offer parts that otherwise would no longer be available at all.

    In most cases in which a "wholesaler closeout" is offered, our catalog also offers the same part from our regular inventory, fully warranted, at regular price. Each customer can decide if the cost savings for closeout parts, in his or her situation, are enough to offset the slightly higher risk. Many of these parts have a limited availability, so when they are sold out, we can not offer an alternate regular inventory part for the same price.

    Manufacturers make small changes to their parts over time without changing the fit or function. The part descriptions in our catalog are always based on the most current data and part designs available from our manufacturers. Wholesaler closeout parts, because of the nature of how they are obtained, tend to be older inventory. Because it is older inventory, wholesaler closeout parts may differ from the regular inventory in design, construction, and included accessories, but these differences do not affect the overall fit and function. For example, a ball joint in regular inventory might be painted black with no grease fitting while the older, wholesaler closeout ball joint of the same brand is painted silver with a grease fitting. The part for the right side might be a different color than the part for the left side. Differences in appearance could be important to some customers such as those preparing classics for exhibition at car shows.

    Our regular return policy applies to everything we sell, including "wholesaler closeout" items. However, because we are buying these parts from a wholesaler, and not from the manufacturer or one of the manufacturer's authorized distributors, the manufacturer will not honor warranty claims on closeout items.

  • Q: What does "Private Label Pkg" mean?
    A: Parts labeled "Private Label Pkg" are similar to other parts, except they come in a plain package instead of one that includes branding. Private label packaging may have other company brands stamped on them as part of a wholesale closeout special.

  • Q: Why are your prices so much lower than at my local store or dealership?
    A: Our prices are lower because our costs are lower. Local stores have to buy inventory, put it on the shelf and pay someone to stand at a counter looking up parts in paper catalogs or in the store's computer system. A part may sit on the shelf for a year or more before someone with that particular vehicle needs that particular part and decides to buy it from that particular store--when they do, the store owner needs to recover a year's worth of cost in one sale.

    RockAuto customers choose their own parts using our online catalog. We ship directly to our customers from wholesale warehouses or manufacturers. We have no retail stores, no counter-people and we don't have a lot of money tied up in slow-moving inventory. We pass the savings on to our customers with lower prices. Our cost savings are all in distribution, though--the parts we sell are the same first-quality merchandise you'd find in any reputable store.

  • Q: Why is there such a wide range of prices between brands?
    A: Some customers insist on "nothing but the best." Others say, "I just want something that will work." We try to satisfy both by offering parts at different price/quality levels.

    Premium brands are often identical to the parts that came on the vehicle originally. Sometimes they are even "better than new" because they're designed to solve problems the car manufacturer overlooked. They are made from top-quality materials that will last a long time. And of course, Premium brands spend a lot on marketing.

    Economy parts are usually made outside North America. They may look different than the OEM part they replace (though they will fit the vehicle). They may lack features like grease fittings or chamfered edges. They may use lower-quality materials and wear out sooner. These parts are designed to meet, but probably not exceed, OEM requirements. They're functional parts at a great price.

    If you're an aggressive driver, travel a lot of miles, use your truck to haul heavy loads, and plan to keep it a long time, it's probably worth the extra money for a Premium part. If you're just running errands around town and your car has so many miles that the engine is likely to die before the brake pads or ball joints wear out, Economy parts are probably fine.

  • Q: What does the "core" column mean?
    A: A core is the old part you are replacing. When you buy a remanufactured part, manufacturers need the core so they can rebuild it and add it to their inventory. The core charge is like a deposit on a soda bottle--you pay it when you place the order, but it's refunded if you send back your old part. For more information about cores, please
    click here.

  • Q: What does a part look like? Info Button
    A: If there is an "Info" button next to the part number, click on it to see the part and/or more information relating to the part. Please rely on the description in the catalog to choose which part to order, and the "More Info" for general information. We try hard to always show an exact picture of a particular part, but color, logo, texture, side (LH , RH, Front, Rear), place of manufacture etc. may vary from what is shown in the image. Manufacturers may change product packaging, colors, and graphics without notice.
    Tip: A new browser window will open when you click the More Info button. If this does not happen, you may have a pop-up blocker installed. Most blockers can be bypassed by holding down the "Control" key on your keyboard while clicking on the button.

  • Q: What do the flags in the catalog mean?
    A: Vehicles with a flag next to them (European model for European models, Canadian model for Canadian models and Mexican model for Mexican models)
    are unique to those markets. Vehicles with no flag were sold in the US and/or multiple markets.

    A flag next to a part number or car name indicates the market for which the part manufacturer has provided application data. Part manufacturers often provide application data only for their local markets so we do not know whether their parts also fit cars in other markets.

    If there are no flags: Car and parts are for the US/Canadian market (as far as we know, the car was not sold elsewhere).

    If there is a flag next to the car name in part listing heading: Car and parts are for a market outside the US, indicated by the flag (as far as we know, the car was not sold in the US).

    If there are flags next to part applications: Car was sold in multiple markets and the part (and any associated note) applies to vehicles originally sold in the market indicated by the flag. For example, in the illustration below, both parts fit Audi A4 cars sold in Canada, Europe and the US However, the "Front Left Upper Front" and "Front Right Upper Front" notes apply to cars sold in US and Canada; and the "Front Left Upper Front; From 07.95; To 09.01" and "Front Right Upper Front; From 11.00; To 12.04" apply to cars sold in Europe.

    Please Note: Where your vehicle was manufactured has nothing to do with where your vehicle was sold. For example, a Honda built in Japan is still a US Market vehicle if it was purchased in the US.

  • Q: If I don’t have a brand preference for a given part type, can the catalog help me choose parts that will ship together from the same warehouse to reduce my shipping costs?
    A: If you are more interested in low costs than the part brands you are ordering, you may choose to have our website decide which brand is your best choice. The program will consider several factors including the cost of separate shipments, the price of the parts, and the distance from the warehouse to you. View video on how to use this tool and others to minimize shipping costs below.

    To utilize this feature, check the “Choose for Me to Minimize Cost” box at the upper right corner of the part category you are interested in ordering:


    If you would like to order an air filter, for example, but would be happy with any number of brands, check the “Alternate” box next to each part you would be OK with and then click “Add Part”:


    The selected parts will be grouped together in your shopping cart where you can specify the overall quantity you need of that part type:


    If you would like to add another group of parts, you may go back to the catalog and check the "Alternate" box next to the parts you wish to add and click "Add Part”. Our system will help select the part(s) that can ship with the parts already in your shopping cart to help keep your shipping cost low. In the example below, the combination of parts our website selected from 3 part groupings will result in the lowest possible shipping cost:

    When grouping parts, make sure you create a new group for each unique part type. For example, if you’d like to order a pair of rear rotors but group parts listed as “Rear Left” with parts listed as “Rear Right”, you will likely receive either 2 Rear Left or 2 Rear Right rotors. A separate group must be created for each part type you are interested in ordering (in this case, you should create 1 group containing Rear Left rotors and another containing Rear Right rotors).

  • Q: How can I print from your catalog?
    A: Click the Printer Icon icon.
    Doing this will pop up the content to be printed in a separate page along with your printers dialog box.

  • Q: Do you offer discounts for large orders?
    A: No, but we do have a discount program for repeat customers. You'll receive a discount code via email about a month after you place your order.

  • Q: Can I see prices in my country's currency?
    A: At the top of the RockAuto catalog there is a "Show Prices In" drop-down box. When the drop-down box is selected you can choose to view the prices in our catalog in US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Brazilian Real, Canadian Dollars, Swiss Francs, Euros, British Pounds, Japanese Yen, Mexican Pesos or Norwegian Krone. Prices are calculated based on interbank exchange rates updated each morning. Please note that, because we are a US merchant, credit card companies and PayPal process all our transactions in US Dollars. The amount in local currency appearing on your bank or PayPal statement may vary if they use a different exchange rate or add fees for international transactions.

  • Q: Can I share my shopping cart with my mechanic/neighbor/brother-in-law?
    A: Clicking the "Email this cart to a friend" icon Email this cart to a freind will Email the contents of your shopping cart. The Email your friend receives will have a link that will open a copy of your shopping cart in the RockAuto catalog.

  • Q: Can I have more than one shopping cart open at the same time?
    A: Yes, you can. The "Rename Cart", "Edit Cart", and "Clear Cart" Rename, Edit, and Clear Cart icons allow you to add shopping carts, change the name of each, and delete a cart.

  • Q: Can I view my saved shopping carts from any PC?
    A: You can associate shopping carts with your account, simply by logging into your account. Once logged in, any shopping carts that are saved on the computer will automatically be associated with your account, and you will be able to view them from any computer on which you log into your account.

  • Q: How much is shipping?
    A: We calculate shipping charges using "live"
    FedEx, US Postal Service, UPS, DHL, and truck freight rates. When you add a part to your shopping cart, change a quantity or change your address, the cart automatically recalculates shipping based on the weight and size of your order and your postal (zip) code. As you're building your order, you'll always know the full delivered cost -- before you've entered your credit card number or any other personal information.

    We try to make our shipping charges match what carriers charge us. We do not consider shipping a "profit center" -- on the contrary, we pass on to customers the discounts we receive from carriers. For some orders, the shipping cost does include more than just the postage you see on the box you receive. Examples include:

    * Additional fees charged by our suppliers for shipping special-order items directly to consumers
    * Costs of inbound shipping from suppliers who will not ship internationally to us before forwarding them on to you (applies only to international or APO/FPO orders of certain low-volume parts)
    * Impact of choosing higher-cost suppliers for some parts so everything on an order can ship together (when the cost difference between suppliers is lower than the cost of shipping a separate box).

    If any of these situations exists with your order, it's reflected in the shipping cost you see before you submit the order. We never add extra charges after the order is submitted--what you agree to pay when you enter the order is what you will be charged.




Please note that this icon will save cars to your account only if you are logged in. When not logged in, the Save icon will still appear, to provide a link that can be used to get back to the car in the catalog.

Cars can be removed from the list by clicking the Red X button next to the car you wish to remove in the catalog cars dropdown.

Remove Car